Monday, June 9, 2014

Reader Ride: RyanM's 1998 Volvo S70 & 1998 Toyota 4Runner

Time for another Reader Ride, this time from a prolific commenter and SoCal local RyanM who submitted two of his rides. Feature both of his rides? Why not. Especially because RyanM included a picture of his 4Runner with the decaying skeleton of one of the most badass supersonic strategic bombers to ever be built. The B-58 Hustler was a long range bomber capable of Mach 2 flight and dropping a 20,000 lb load of nuclear bombs into Russian cities, but the Coke bottle fuselage with delta wing design was difficult to fly and extremely unreliable. The flame that burns the brightest burns out first and the B-58 was decommissioned after a short 10 year life in 1970.



First up is RyanM's wife's 4Runner... for all of the places the S70 can't go.

Year / Make / Model / Trim ?
1998 / Toyota / 4Runner / Limited 4x4 w/rear locking diff

How long have you owned it?
Since February, 2014

Why did you buy it?
-Our 2x '05 Legacy GT's were bleeding us dry in premium fuel and repairs. For the cost of a set of valve cover gaskets on the Subaru I found this 'runner for sale from a lady who thought it needed a new engine. It did not.

What do you use it for (commute, fun, racing...etc)?
-Commute (15mpg city), road trips (23mpg avg on the fwy, best I've seen between fill ups was 26mpg), hauling the Datsun, off-road sight seeing, driving down property values, camping, etc.




Is it stock or modified? If modified, please list some modifications.
-Wheelskins leather steering wheel cover, 1999 4Runner Highlander springs, aux-out for factory CD player, custom weld-on heavy duty rock sliders, rear locker mod so it can be turned on/off when not in 4-low, 140a alternator.

What was the most memorable day in your car (proposed to wife, 3rd child born in back seat...etc)?
-Toss up between off-road camping in the cargo area up in Santa Barbara whilst staring at the stars, sipping Boone's Farm and listening to Billy Squire; or dirt-roading at Big Bear right after we got the thing and seeing some of the most amazing views in SoCal.

What was the most catastrophic failure of parts/components?
-None for me, previous owner replaced radiator, water pump, etc etc trying to track down a hot running issue that ended up being a bad $7 radiator cap. Needed a battery from sitting for 8 months.

What makes you want to keep owning this car?
Because it cost less than a MacBook, and tows significantly more.

Will you ever sell it?

-Might gift it to our nephew once we get to the point at which we need a 3rd row seat. Otherwise, hell no this thing is awesome.




Year / Make / Model / Trim ?

-1998 / Volvo / S70 / more than its fair share, har har har (base trim).

How long have you owned it?
-Been in the family since new, October 1997. Halloween, actually.





Why did you buy it?
-Dad bought it for Mom when we moved back to Maine as a safe, reliable way of navigating Maine winters, Mom inexplicably wanted a minivan so she handed the car off to the kids after less than a year.

It just so happened they still had it when I came back from Iraq and needed a car to get me from where I was taking my end of tour leave (Maine) to where my flight was going to depart from to get me back to my unit (Arkansas). So I traded parts and labor for an accessory belt replacement and tune up to my parents' Honda Accord dead even for the Volvo that had been sitting in a field for over a year.

What do you use it for (commute, fun, racing...etc)?
-Daily driver, parts hauler (a 5-spd gearbox for a 280zx fits perfectly in the trunk), loaner to friends when they're in town, road tripper, etc.





Is it stock or modified? If modified, please list some modifications.
-IPD springs, Bilstein shocks at the corners, Volans from an 850R, 215/45/17 General something or other hand-me-downs from my wife's Legacy GT, Volvo XC70 front bumper & fogs (painted to match). Otherwise, bone stock.

What was the most memorable day in your car (proposed to wife, 3rd child born in back seat...etc)?
-too many to even consider counting. I could write a book about that thing and still not capture everything. From passing my driver's test in it, taking it to 3 proms, having my buddy break the rear-view off with his head as he stuck his ass out the window to moon a church picnic, to pretending I was Colin McRae on the back roads of New England, 6 or 7 trips from coast to coast... to whatever chaos my younger brother / sister caused in it during its tenure with them (with the scars to prove it). This thing definitely has character. And it's been on the news (parked in DTLA a few months back, photo courtesy of AMB).





What was the most catastrophic failure of parts/components?
- when I was overseas, my parents used the car as a beater. The throttle cable stuck one day in the driveway and my dad got so mad at it that he just let it sit there bouncing off the rev limiter in the driveway until it ran itself out of gas. When it was done, he used his Ford plow-truck to push it into the field next to the house, and there it sat until I came back from my deployment and decided to rescue the car. The heater core broke during this episode, and the plow blade broke all of the taillights and the exhaust. Sprayed some WD40 down the throttle cable jacket, $20 in taillights, $15 exhaust weld, $40 replacement heater core from FCP Groton and I hopped in the car and drove it from Maine to Arkansas the following week without an issue (after an oil/coolant change, naturally).

At 292k, 260k of which were spent in Maine as a winter / off road beater and kid-car, the car has its original head gasket, original rear main seal, original transmission, and (with the exception of the plow-blade caused weld to the exhaust) original exhaust. Starts up first try, no oil leaks, no coolant leaks, no smoke, gets 31mpg on the highway with the skinny studded snows on and no roof racks. 26 mpg on the freeway full of people, gear, wearing Volans and carrying 4x mountain bikes on the roof.




Best car ever.

What makes you want to keep owning this car?
-Stories / sentimentality / the absolute, hands-down, best seats ever created / reliability / fuel economy.

Will you ever sell it?
-Not in a million years, for a million dollars. If we do have to get rid of it, I'm keeping the seats.


Got your own ride and want to share? Send us some pics. You can just free form your words, or follow this questionaire.

Year / Make / Model / Trim ?
How long have you owned it?
Why did you buy it?
What do you use it for (commute, fun, racing...etc)?
Is it stock or modified? If modified, please list some modifications.
What was the most memorable day in your car (proposed to wife, 3rd child born in back seat...etc)?
What was the most catastrophic failure of parts/components?
What makes you want to keep owning this car?
Will you ever sell it?

Send your submissions to tips@dailyturismo.com

11 comments:

  1. Always loved that style S70, and they are cheap enough now to pick up as a beater.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Two great cars. I love that they match in some ways.
    The stance is great on the brick and the stories as well.
    I recently sold our family 99 4runner. It was a loyal and trusted friend. I'm not sure I like the crabby German I replaced it with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sir. I'd actually bought those Volans for my 745 turbo but on the ice they were worthless so they just sat in the shed until I inhereted the P80 from the folks. When I installed them on the stock suspension with the low profile rubber it just looked silly, so in went the IPD springs and Bilstein HD's.

      This 4Runner is accumulating miles and stacking up well to its Volvo stablemate in the reliability department, but time will tell.

      Delete
  3. If you're picking one up as a beater, watch out for the '99+, and the AWD cars. If they're in beater-price-territory, they probably need an ETM and bevel gear. Also if you live in a warm climate, watch for cars with a blown evap core. It's a $100 part but a 12 hour job involving the removal of the entire dash (not just the upper portion).

    Anyways, thanks for the spotlight folks! I owe an update on the 240z.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wait, where can I find that B58?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 34°48'58.0"N 117°51'49.6"W (search within Google Maps, b/c Google web search homes it to the nearest road).

      Also check out slightly northeast of that position for 2x B-52's right at the southern tip of Muroc/Rogers dry lake. I have some pictures of the 4Runner with them as well.

      The paved area in the foreground is (was?) used for photo-reconnaissance aircraft. If you follow almost a straight line (follow the trail) to the northeast you'll find a bunch more paved areas with aircraft hulks next to them. I did not attempt to reach those, however.

      Anyways, if you have a moderate ground clearance vehicle (Subaru Outback and higher) and aren't scared by a bunch of "United States Government Installation" signs everywhere, it's pretty easy to reach. I never took it out of 2wd, and kept the tires inflated to road-PSI the whole way. Never spun a tire.

      Delete
    2. Cool. I searched it with Bing Maps as well and the B-58 and the 2 B-52's look pretty cool in Bing's Birdseye view.

      Delete
    3. The history of those aircraft can be found here. Equal parts depressing and fascinating, especially the Russian connection.

      Delete
  5. Awesome feature, thanks for sharing, RyanM!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Ryan,

    I like the story about the S70. Glad to see it is still running like a champ. Do you think it will make 400k miles and beyond?

    I'm trying to keep my '91 740 going till at least 500k. I bought it two years ago from the original owner for $950.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P,

      The S70 is about to reach a decision point - the timing belt/water pump/tensioner/serpentine belt service. I need to do a driver's front axle shaft as well. Naturally both of those jobs in parts alone are worth more than the car... but as a sentimental car enthusiast (read: hoarder), I think I'm going to keep 'er around for a while.

      My annual mileage on the car has gone from 15k/yr down to around 3 - 4k per year, though, so if it does see 400k, it's going to take a very, very long time to get there.

      Either way, I'm going to drive it until I can't afford to fix it, then park it until I can.

      Cool to hear about your 740! Sounds like you got a steal. Is it a sedan? Wagon? Turbo? N/A? How many miles does it have now? I currently own an '89 745 turbo, and in the past I've owned a '90 745 turbo, a '91 745 turbo, a '92 745 turbo and an '86 765 turbo... so yeah you could consider me a fan of them. haha.

      Delete

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